The link between working and working out

At the end of many people’s working day most enjoy sitting down and unwinding, take a moment to catch up with things on social media, watch something on TV or Netflix… the usual. Anything to keep stress levels down and make sure they are ready to take on the next working day and be the best that they can be.

In my opinion, we do this because we understand that in order to be good at our jobs, we need to be in the best mental space possible, making sure that we continue to improve.

One thing people often don’t realise that exerting yourself further with physical activity can be just the thing you need at the end of long day, and that’s because there’s a common misconception about working out.

The misconception is that working out makes you tired; that it will wear you out even further after a long day at the office trying your best to maximize productivity, and that’s where people can be misinformed.

Turns out that working out is the very key to productivity, not only are we becoming fitter and stronger but we’re disciplining ourselves too… however that probably doesn’t sound like much fun, we discipline ourselves at work all the time so why would this be any different? Because of endorphins.

The endorphins that we get from any kind of exercise (weightlifting particularly in my experience) are exactly what’s so appealing about blending workouts into our work schedules. Whether it’s in the morning before work to put you in a good mindset or after work in order to de-stress and feel good about yourself in the evening/night, many agree that while aesthetic benefits such as having a more muscular or toned-up body are big mood improvers; the real kicker is the hormones that get released at the time of exercise.

These hormones make us feel on top of the world, to put it bluntly, they are a natural high that many soon get addicted to after their first few workouts. The regular release of these hormones increases your mood in general throughout the week, making what you’d normally consider a joyful high as the new norm. As you can imagine this will increase productivity at work, no questions.

With this being an indisputable fact it’s no wonder some of the world’s most successful people advocate for regular exercise throughout your work week; Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, specifically fashions it as his “number 1 productivity secret” in his blog post titled “What’s the health of your success?” and one of the most important things successful people do in order to keep up their impressive work capacity. A study conducted by Jim McKenna showed that people who exercised returned to work with a much calmer demeanour, being more forgiving towards their work colleagues and themselves, along with improved time-management skills and generally an overall sharper mind.

So where do we even start? The gym can be daunting for beginners, and a big part of working out, in general, is knowing what you’re doing and deciding what you want out of it; whether you want to become big and strong, or lean and athletic, there’s a lot of options and different things work for different people. The key to finding out what works for you is experimentation and easing into things, which doesn’t seem as intimidating as suddenly committing to an intense Dwayne Johnson-esque workout on your first time visiting the place (although that would be pretty cool of you). Not to mention you can slot this in any time you want, whether you want to reap the benefits of working out before work so you can enter your workplace with a positive outlook and alert mind, or use the gym after work to wind down and de-stress after the day’s activities.

An advantage of going to the gym instead of committing yourself to sports is the amount of choice you have to tailor workouts to your schedule, meaning that starting it and integrating it into your day is less trouble than people might think. Who knows? A little taster at the gym can be the beginning of you becoming the best version of yourself; both physically and mentally.